Mehbooba to contest from Anantnag, Aga Mohsin from Sgr
‘JKLF ban for electoral benefits’
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Saturday announced the name of former chief minister and President Mehbooba Mufti for the Anantnag seat while Aga Mohsin would be party’s candidate for Srinagar parliamentary seat.
Addressing a news conference at her Fairview residence at Gupkar, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti said the party would not field any candidates from the Jammu and Udhampur parliamentary seats to avoid division of “secular” votes.
“Our Parliamentary Board today decided that if we can stop the forces destroying J&K by not contesting these seats, we should not,” she said. “Many social groups and party workers from Jammu region also advised us not to field candidates on these two seats.”
“We are the largest party in the State and in last elections, PDP garnered over 1.5 lakh votes in Jammu while on Udhampur seat secured some 40 thousand votes,” she said.
Mehbooba said at the all-India level, the unity among the opposition had not been up to the expected mark and it was in this regard that the PDP had unilaterally decided not to field any candidates.
“We won’t let secular forces be weakened,” she said.
Mehbooba said the party was yet to decide on the candidate for the Ladakh seat and the decision would be taken in the due course of time.
In the 2014 parliament polls, PDP had won the Anantnag seat with Mehbooba defeating the then National Conference candidate Mehboob Beg.
In 2016, Mehbooba resigned from the seat to take over as the chief minister of the State.
The 2017 by-poll to the Anantnag seat could not be held due to the then prevailing situation leading to the seat being vacant till date.
In the by-poll of 2017, PDP had fielded Mehbooba’s brother and incumbent MLC Tassaduq Mufti who has been conspicuous with his absence since the fall of the PDP-BJP government in June last year.
National Conference has nominated Hasnain Masoodi from the Anantnag seat while Congress is yet to announce its candidate for the seat.
The Srinagar parliamentary seat in 2014 was also won by the PDP whose the then leader Tariq Hameed Karra defeated NC President Farooq Abdullah.
In 2017, Farooq went on to win the Srinagar seat in the by-poll following the resignation of Karra from the PDP.
This time around the NC-Congress has nominated Farooq Abdullah for the Srinagar parliament seat again as a joint candidate.
PDP’s Srinagar parliament seat candidate Aga Mohsin is the son of political activist and religious scholar late Agha Syed Mustafa and uncle of NC chief spokesman and former MLA Agha Syed Ruhullah.
He had quit NC in 2017 just days before the 2017 by-poll to join PDP.
PDP had fielded Abdul Qayoom Wani from the Baramulla constituency which along with Jammu would go to polls in the first phase on April 11.
On the question of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) ban, Mehbooba said Government of India was pushing Kashmiris to violence by resorting to banning political organisations like JKLF and Jamaat-e-Islami.
“An organization (JKLF) which had shun violence and is looking for resolution of the problem through peaceful means should not be banned,” she said. “Kashmir is being used as a sacrificial lamb for the parliamentary polls in India.”
Mehbooba said GoI wants to portray that they were firmly dealing with Kashmir so that they could win elections in mainland India.
“In all this, Kashmiris are suffering but they won’t achieve anything by digging in the past,” she said.